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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Summer began in Anchorage...
…Summer Continued -             
From Chugach to North Cascades
National Park – Part 2           
Matt Seats
When we last chatted, my Wilderness Leadership class had just been relieved of most of our remaining food. We didn’t know it yet though. We had heli-dropped plenty of food for our last eight days in the Chugach Wilderness weeks earlier. 

We left Whiteout Pass one sunny morning, skiing and hiking to our final hut in Alaska. When we arrived, we were greeted by a heart-dropping sight. Nearly all of the glorious food we had been dreaming of as we crossed the tundra was strewn across the ground, ravaged by a Yeti, or a polar bear…or probably ravens.
Well prepared for dealing with adversity and uncertainty, we sprang to action and sorted what was left of our eight day ration. We figured out calories, and days, and revised our meal plans based on what we could find. Everyone pulled together and what could have been severe food stress became a reason to pull together. We still don’t talk about our “garbage soup” incident with folks who weren't there though.
A week later we began our hike back to civilization. Appropriately enough, one of our final obstacles was the Raven Headwall. After finishing the long, down-climbing snow descent, we skied for about a mile downhill through a whiteout. Skiing through a cloud is an experience that must be experienced to be appreciated. 

Soon we were leaving the Alaskan outback, and preparing for a month in Washington. There we would begin our climbing expedition at Eldorado Peak and Boston Basin – 
whose bathrooms offer the best views in the world!

Marmots, summits, and Indiana Jones-style descents!

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